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Steve Phelps, the president of NASCAR, is now threatening to sue anyone who uses the “Let’s Go, Brandon” slogan on any merchandise featuring the NASCAR’s trademarks. He has publicly condemned the use of the slogan and claimed that NASCAR does not want to be associated with politics.
According to The Associated Press, Phelps has said that NASCAR will pursue action against any illegal use of their trademark on all merchandise that uses the popular slogan.
Just this week, retired baseball star Lenny Dykstra posted a photo on Twitter of a man eating breakfast at a New Jersey hotel while wearing a black “Let’s go, Brandon” shirt that was emblazoned with NASCAR’s trademarked color bars.
A key member of #TeamNails was pleased to see this just a few min ago at a Holiday Inn Express in Passaic County, NJ (as, it seemed, was everyone else eating there) #LetsGoBrandon #FuckJoeBiden @GETTRofficial @alliesinger @I_AmMelissa_ @DolansBar @DonaldJTrumpJr @JasonMillerinDC pic.twitter.com/nD46Jtn7B8
— Lenny Dykstra (@LennyDykstra) November 3, 2021
Phelps said, “We will pursue whoever (is using logos) and get that stuff. That’s not OK. It’s not OK that you’re using our trademarks illegally, regardless of whether we agree with what the position is.”
The slogan in question started last month at a NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing driver Brandon Brown after he won the race. While the interview was taking place, the crowd in the stands was chanting, “F*** Joe Biden.” But Stavast claimed that they were chanting “Let’s go, Brandon.”
The slogan has since become code for “F*** Joe Biden” and is being used at sporting events and some other locations.
Phelps said that he feels for Brandon. “I think unfortunately it speaks to the state of where we are as a country. We do not want to associate ourselves with politics, the Left or the Right. We obviously have and we’ve always had, as a sport, tremendous respect for the office of the president — no matter who is sitting,” Phelps said.
He continued saying that he did not like the fact that this slogan started with a NASCAR race and then carried momentum elsewhere. Phelps said that they would continue to make sure that NASCAR maintained respect for the office of the president.
This move to condemn the use of the chant and the decision to keep NASCAR out of politics comes after they embraced some leftist social justice causes last year and this year. In February, The Associated Press reported that as the season began with the Daytona 500, there was a new era of social consciousness that has enveloped the sport. They reported that NASCAR was committed to these issues for the long haul. Steve Phelps even cited a brand tracking study by Directions Research that found that 1,750 self-identified “avid NASCAR fans” overwhelmingly supported the sanctioning body’s stance on social justice in 2020.
Phelps has later maintained that what NASCAR does in the areas of social justice and diversity equity inclusion is going to be authentic to who they are. Even if it wasn’t the right thing for the NBA, it was going to be right for NASCAR. When the question was asked if social justice is something a sport should do, Phelps answered “yes,” and gave permission to do it.
Phelps is not alone on the “Let’s Go, Brandon” issue. In the last 24 hours, a former Clinton administration press secretary equated people who say “Let’s Go, Brandon” with ISIS members. And ex-CBS News anchor Dan Rather warned the phrase may lead to “violence.”
NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian wrote that gun dealers are marketing weapon parts and ammunition using the right-wing slogan. He also said that he called the Secret Service about this situation. He asked the Secret Service whether they consider “F–Joe Biden” emblazoned on an assault rifle to represent a security threat to the president. They did not respond.